This 10-student residence is some of the most sought-after housing on campus; it’s a great-looking dorm that feels more like a shared apartment. Rooms are sunny and bright with open living spaces, and a handsome kitchen serves as a central gathering place. It also happens to be passive certified.

Architect Matthew O’Malia, a G?O Logic principal, integrated Maine’s rural vernacular into his design. The massing is barn-shaped and the oversized windows—designed for maximum solar gain—recall barn doors. Barn board installed just below the ceiling helps delineate the kitchen space. It also houses the kitchen’s track lighting, and a 4-inch drop between ceiling and barn board conceals the ventilation.

Reasonably priced materials were essential. So were durable ones—this is a dorm. The kitchen island is site-cast concrete, with below-counter storage space. (The concrete also provides thermal mass that helps moderate temperature fluctuation.) Off-the-shelf materials such as shelving brackets are mounted flush with the kitchen’s barn board wrap, making workaday hardware look high-design. Another ready-made material that acknowledges the Maine environs: a netted stair rail made from a lobster trap.